Impersonated by Melissa Villaseñor, Ocasio-Cortez is a guest on Morning Joe. “Look at me. I’m different,” she says, followed by a nervous laugh. (We get it. Millennials all think we’re “different.”) The new representative is the youngest woman to ever be elected into the House. Villaseñor captures the earnest facial expressions of Ocasio-Cortez that we have come to know and love from her Instagram Live stories, where she talks policy and politics over instant noodles.
“You’re only 29. You’ve overcome incredible odds to get a job in Congress,” says Kate McKinnon between sips of Jamba Juice as Mika Brzezinski. “Well, I’m a millennial, so getting any full-time job is overcoming incredible odds,” Villaseñor as Ocasio-Cortez answers. “I’m actually still working for TaskRabbit.” The audience laughs, but I think they would have laughed more if there wasn’t so much truth in the statement. I’m looking at you, gig economy.
Only a select handful of politicians get parodied on SNL. In order to make the cut, they have to be among the top news stories, too influential or talked about to be ignored. Alec Baldwin’s (possibly to be retired?) impersonation of President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer are two of the most notable in recent seasons. For every news story introducing Ocasio-Cortez and covering her first steps in office, there are a sea of stories from her opposition questioning and criticizing her every move, from her opinions to her outfits. She is making waves and making headlines with those against her talking about her just as much as those who support her. For SNL, that is the draw.
Any jokes at her expense only serve to remind viewers of the unique position she finds herself in, setting her apart of other politicians. While the sketch may joke that she has a side hustle or that she “worked as a bartender in a Mexican restaurant like 11 minutes ago,” the sketch never suggests for a moment that she is anything but a perfect fit for her new role. “This job is a fricking breeze,” she explains. “We get Saturday and Sunday off. I can sit down whenever I want.”
You know what they say about comedy, there’s a grain of truth in every joke. In this instance, it’s that a young, intelligent woman of color who actually comes from a similar background as many of the people she is representing got elected. As she says in the sketch, “I was born for this!”
Watch the sketch below.